Aspiring Flipper Fails Miserably: “Buying’s Easy But People Won’t Pay as Much As I Want”

By: Damon Bailey

Mountain View, CA – “Being an entrepreneur is no easy task,” Jason Flynn began. “It takes grit, capital, and steadfast dedication to outbidding the other guy for everything you like on eBay – then you need the wherewithal to play it cool like it was a barn find on Instagram.”

Such is the life for an aspiring flipper or “vintage watch curator” as Flynn would prefer. He is among the latest of middlemen to enter the saturated scene of watch flipping from eBay to private sales—driven by the hopes of marginal profit to be made on the side.

“I used to be concerned about things like movement functionality,” Flynn continued. “But I realized with the simple catch-all phrase of ‘estate-find,’ I don’t need to be held accountable for things like accuracy or even consistency of parts. Moreover, the buyer can make assumptions that it was in some dead guy’s posession for decades.  I figure at least one other person in the world is willing to pay almost as much as you if you beat them in a bid. If you just know how to shoot a better picture than what was on auction, you’re guaranteed to make at least 15 percent more than they did.”

For Flynn, only one small problem stands in the way of success. “Buying’s the easy part, but people won’t pay me as much as I want. I have no idea how Hodinkee does it.” The social media user shook his head,  “Even if I use suggestive keywords like “#Vietnam-era,” “#minty,” and “#like4like”  while flooding my Instagram stories with wrist-rolls, I feel like I’m barely getting twenty percent profit. Ebay charges ten percent tax for Californians now which means I’m barely able to clear ten percent after I hawk it.  It’s all totally unfair… but I guess that’s just how it is when you try to start a legit business.”

The negligible margins have forced Flynn into other resale considerations. “I’m not opposed to flipping new sport-model Rolexes,” he continued. “Or even some Royal Oaks if you’d be willing to part with one, but the max I’d be willing to pay you is MSRP… after all, I still need to make a living.”

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